When it comes to preparing my house for the influx of relatives and friends that are coming over to feast for the holidays, I am totally meticulous in my cleaning ritual. I clean things that during the rest of the year might not get the attention it deserves, like the top of cabinets and the cabinets under the sink.
It’s not that I think people will stand on a step stool to check how my dust bunnies are faring on top of the cabinets, and I don’t envision the kitchen sink cabinet being opened up long enough for anyone to notice the ring of dish-washing liquid that *may* be there from when the bottle tipped over, but you just never know.
I use a lot of Kimberly-Clark wipes during this time. LOTS. I would probably be shot by an activist group that monitors such things as amount of disposable paper-towel type things, but in my defense, it’s only twice a year that I do this. And I support all efforts to sustain the environment, just sayin’. But I love me some WypAll’s.
I also used Kimwipes on all my electronics and even everyone’s eyeglasses and sunglasses. They are especially made for delicate jobs like that, and I don’t want anything messing up my TV and computer screens! They are also great for smartphones and tablets. In my kitchen, I use the X80 foodservice towels. Nothing really beats the absorbency when it comes to drying dishes and utensils and getting them seriously dry. Good luck with your own holiday cleaning!
Wednesday is Halloween, a night for fun and candy. Little ghouls and ghosties, along with their (hopefully costumed) parents will dominate the streets in neighborhoods across the country. Except for the trick or treater’s going to malls, then this blog doesn’t apply. Safety is the name of the game, even with visions of Jolly Rancher’s dancing in little heads everywhere.
When you’re strolling through the neighborhood with kids running amok everywhere you look, lighting is crucial. If it’s too dark, a person could stumble and fall, or trip over a dragging sack of candy and turn an ankle. This is definitely NOT something that you want to do, so I suggest a great flashlight to light your way.
When we were kids, the last thing we wanted to carry was flashlights. They didn’t really match the costume and they interfered with our candy loot, because you couldn’t hoist a ten pound pillowcase full of candy while juggling the big silver flashlight from your dad’s tool box. When glow sticks came around, we jumped on those, first because they were so cool, and second because you could incorporate them into your costume.
This Halloween, stock up on glow sticks, flashlights, glow in the dark costumes…whatever you need to keep yourself illuminated and safe out on the street, even if it doesn’t match what you’re wearing. Don’t forget to donate candy to me here at ReStockIt (our address is on the website) and please be safe!
You know how, when you’re watching a horror movie, you turn into an armchair survival quarterback? You know what I mean, even if you don’t know the term armchair quarterback. “What are you, stupid? DON’T GO INTO THE BASEMENT!!!” and “For the love of God, WHY would she go into the woods!?!” and the currently popular, “‘Hello’? You’re saying ‘hello’? Do you think the scary killer is going to say ‘I’m in the kitchen, want a sandwich?’”.
From the safety of your living room, of course you can say those things. You’re not being chased by a knife-machete-chainsaw-talon wielding maniac. You’re cozy, comfy, and enjoying a big ol’ bowl of popcorn. What would you do in that situation? If someone broke into your house and was not…of the norm, shall we say? In other words, Michael Meyers (not the actor) is standing in your bedroom, head slightly tilted, white mask face blankly looking at you, and a 9” butcher knife is raised menacingly in your direction. Could you survive?
I’m here to help. I want you to survive an attack by a maniac killer. I don’t want to hear that I could have helped someone survive an attack by a quasi-supernatural serial killer and did nothing to stop it, so I bring you ten tips to avoid being punctured, chopped, beheaded, and torn to pieces.
- You and your group have finally made it out of the house (campground, cornfield, abandoned doll factory), you’re running towards freedom and you realize you left your 200$ Oakley (Prada) sunglasses behind. Cut your losses and run. NEVER GO BACK, for anything, and certainly never say, “I’ll be right back” as you run away because you won’t. That’s the kiss of death.
- It’s not the wind. It just isn’t. You can convince yourself that the scratching noise on the other side of the wall is the wind in the trees, but we all know it’s not. Its evil and it’s looking for your blood.
- Engaging in intercourse is NOT the thing to do when there is a brief respite of thinly-veiled perceived safety. It’s just not. Don’t do it.
- You know how, when you’re in a race, the old adage is “Don’t look behind you”? Well when you’re being chased by a deranged lunatic, look behind you, often. Be mindful of your surroundings, but frequently check his progress. And if you think you’ve found a great hiding place, don’t just look the way you came. He managed to get ahead of you, which means he’s going to be behind you as you look back the way you came.
- KEYS! I can’t stress this enough. People, put your keys in your pocket. You make it out of the house, get to your car, and then…no keys. Guess what? Look at #1. You’ll have to find some other way to make a get away.
- Stick together. This means not tripping anyone to sacrifice them to the killer to buy you time. You’re most likely with your friends, and you can actually come up with a plan to bring him down, at least long enough to truss him up like a Thanksgiving turkey.
- Never assume the killer is dead. Even the ever popular “double tap” is only relative to zombies, never maniacal killers. Beheading them sometimes works, but they are always immune to gun shots.
- Curiosity may not have killed the cat, but it will kill you. Be curious about art, history, and how things are made, but never, ever be curious about the shadow on the wall in the darkened room of the scary abandoned house.
- If you’ve heard suspicious noises, and then the lights go out…just assume the worst and take up defensive positions. Don’t question, don’t worry about looking stupid. Just do it or it won’t end well otherwise.
- Once you finally reach your car, and you have your keys, look in the back seat. Seriously. He’s probably there.
In keeping with our spooky Wednesday trivia theme, today’s topic is horror movie trivia! I know not everyone enjoys the feeling of being curled up in a dark room with a pillow to hide your eyes and a scary movie on the television, but its one of my favorite things to do! Especially if its a creepy supernatural thriller involving the unexplained (movies about sadistic maniacal killers don’t do much for me) that’s showing, because that just gets my adrenaline going!
Read on and enjoy seriously spooky horror movie trivia…just make sure you leave the lights on…
- Anthony Hopkins won an Oscar for his leading role in “Silence of the Lambs” although he was only on screen for just over 16 minutes…the least amount of time a lead actor has ever won the award.
- The cult classic horror film “Alien” was actually going to be called “Star Beast.”
- Charles Manson, Lee Harvey Oswald, and James Earl Ray are indirectly responsible for the naming of the infamous “Chucky” doll, whose full name in the film was Charles Lee Ray.
- In the 1973 horror film “The Exorcist” Regan’s bedroom was cooled by air conditioners to temperatures of around 30-40 degrees below zero—so cold that sweat on the crew and cast would freeze. At one point, there was so much moisture in the air that a flimsy layer of snow began to fall on the set.
- At one time, evangelist Billy Graham claimed that a real demon resided in the celluloid reels of the movie, “The Exorcist.”
- When “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” was released in 1974, filmgoers were so terrified by the sneak previews that some actually walked out.
- In the 2005 remake of the “The Amityville Horror“, Ryan Reynolds purposely distanced himself from his child co-stars so that he’d have less trouble being cruel to them during the latter scenes in the movie.
- “The Shining” director Stanley Kubrick convinced the MPAA board that the bloody water emerging from the elevator in his trailer was really “rusty water.” He did so to get the trailer approved.
- During filming of 2001’s “Session 9” actor David Caruso claims to have seen “something pass his window” inside the Danvers mental hospital where filming was done. He was hesitant to tell anyone because he didn’t want people to “look at him strangely.”
- The 1991 Fox TV film, “The Haunted” is based on real events happening to the Smurl family. However, this movie has never been released to video and cannot be purchased in stores.
Help with Trivia:
It’s been all over the news. A plague. Then you notice strange sights around your neighborhood, and co-workers stop showing up for work. Houses around yours become quiet, and just a bit eerie, with curtains and blinds drawn and no activity to be seen. Your obnoxious neighbor who always plays his music too loud and tosses garbage on your lawn hasn’t been seen for days. That doesn’t bother you so much. Then it happens.
A zombie shambles up on your lawn.
What do you do? Did you prepare? Have you even watched any of the plethora of movies or TV shows about the zombie apocalypse? No? Well, hopefully you either have a strong survival instinct or you have a bit of the Macgyver gene. Or you read this blog.
There is a small number of the population who strongly believes in the zombie apocalypse. The zombies of old (created by a comet or some other celestial body, or even a derivation of the Book of Revelation) have given way to a scary new premise – that of a super virus that first kills its victims and then reanimates the corpse and turns it into a killing machine. Whether that’s possible or not…who knows?
I believe in being prepared, and my house has survival kits for hurricanes already in place. But…a lot of that can be used for a zombie apocalypse as well. In honor of Halloween and zombie aficionados everywhere, I bring to you a zombie preparedness list, and some tips for surviving in a new world dominated by reanimated, flesh-eating corpses.
- Never mind Zombieland (my favorite movie) and the rules given about double tap. Most people don’t know how to shoot a gun, and would end up with a dislocated shoulder if they used a shotgun. Plus, how good can your aim be if you’ve never shot a gun? Machete’s and axes (or hatchets) are the way to go. Buy one, sharpen it, and practice. You most likely have one in your shed or garage right now. Start getting familiar with it. Yes, it’s close action and you might get zombie goo on you, but it’s better than blowing out car tires or house windows instead of the head of the zombie coming at you. Also, you can never go wrong with a baseball bat. This may appeal to the more squeamish among you since it just involves bashing and not cutting. Swing away!
- Keep a hunting knife in a sheath on your belt or waistband. Again, guns are great if you know how to use one, but they are loud, and will attract other zombies. If the machete fails, you can grab the knife and go for an eye socket.
- Prepare to hold up somewhere. If you have a two story house, great. You can destroy the staircase and turn rooms into survival dens. Stock closets with rations and water, and keep flashlights, portable stoves and fuel, blankets, books, games, etc on hand. If your house is one story, get out. Unless you had the foresight to block the windows and glass doors, you’re in a bad place. Look for a place you can defend. Carry a back pack with the minimum in it, because weight will add up. Energy bars, change of socks, flashlights, first aid kit, and water.
- If you are familiar with guns, don’t carry the big calibers. Even a .22 rifle will work if you know what to do with it. Handguns are easier to carry, but not great for long shots if you want to pick zombies off before they get close. Please don’t rely on your Call of Duty training, however. This does not mean you know how to use a gun.
- The most important piece of advice I can give you is to alter your perception and attitude. This is literally a fight to the death. If you can’t rally the strength that it takes, and put to use common sense, then no matter how well you fortify your defensible position, you won’t make it.
It’s scary. It’s something no one wants to think about, but one day…one dark night, as you’re walking the dog, you might see something in the road ahead of you, what you at first mistake for old Mrs. Foster. Then she’ll get close. You’ll see the blood, smell the stench, and see her eyes rolling wildly around in their sockets, her arms reaching up, hands grasping, and you’ll notice the broken fingernails with bits of…well, let’s just hope that doesn’t happen if you’re not prepared.
October is my favorite month, hands down. Temperatures are dropping (or the humidity, as is the case in Florida) and its getting cooler. Leaves are either turning or turned, and best of all; Halloween is at the end of the month. I prepare for Halloween like most people prepare for the December holidays.
At ReStockIt, we get into the Halloween spirit. All of our departments are decorated to the nth degree, and we have a bunch of games and a party on the big day. Usually the week of Halloween is filled with pumpkin carving contests, trivia games centered around Halloween trivia (or scary movies), and other party games.
In the spirit of Halloween, today’s trivia will be all about October! Enjoy!
- In Roman times, October was the eighth month of the Roman calendar, which is how it got its name.
- Our Canadian friends to the north celebrate their Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October
- Alaska became an American territory on October 18th, 1867
- President Cleveland dedicated the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor on October 28, 1886.
- On October 1, 1896, free rural delivery of mail started in the United States.
- Breast Cancer Awareness Month
- Book Month
- Dessert Month
- Pizza Month
So I’ve noticed that on Wednesday’s, I tend to get a little goofy. It’s the halfway point of the week, Friday is over the horizon and in sight, and there is a faint celebratory mood. No matter how much you love your job, Friday is still something to look forward to. I’d like to think that wacky trivia Wednesday is also something to look forward to!
We love weird information at ReStockIt, and I love compiling it. Don’t judge; my useless knowledge of trivia has won me many a free item! There’s nothing like getting a pop trivia quiz at Starbucks and winning your Venti Pumpkin Spice Latte. Everyone knows that its fall when Starbucks brings back the Pumpkin Spice Latte…
In honor of October, and Halloween, I bring you some spookilicious trivia to commemorate! Enjoy!
- Jack o’ Lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips and potatoes to keep away spirits and ghosts on Samhain holiday
- Tootsie Rolls were the first wrapped penny candy in America (love me some Tootsie Rolls!)
- The ancient Celts thought that spirits and demons roamed the countryside on Samhain. They began wearing masks to avoid being recognized as humans
- There is actually a Count Dracula Society. It was formed in 1962 by Dr. Donald A. Reed.
- The iconic Michael Meyers mask from the movie “Halloween” is just a mask of William Shatner from Star Trek painted white.
- In the United States, the first citywide celebration was in Anoka Minnesota in 1921.
- Orange and black are Halloween colors because orange is associated with the Fall harvest and black is associated with darkness and death.
- Over $1.5 billion is spent on costumes each year and more than $2.5 billion on other Halloween paraphernalia (three people in particular here at ReStockIt contribute a hefty amount to that 2.5 billion).
- Over 10% of pet owners dress their pets in Halloween costumes
- Trick or treating had its roots in Europe. The custom known as “souling” dates back to the 9th century. On All Soul’s Day which is November 2nd, the poor would walk through the villages and go door to door begging for food. They would be given “soul cakes” which is a type of pastry made from bread and currants. They would promise to pray for dead relatives in return for receiving the “soul cakes”.
Happy Halloween everyone!
Well, a day early anyway, but since I’m not here on Saturday’s and Sunday’s to write this wonderful blog, I figured its better early than late. And since this is my absolute favorite time of the year, I thought, Hey! What a great blog to write!
There is just something perfect about autumn. In September, the temperatures are just right (well…not here, but in other places), and you get that slight chill in the morning and a lovely breeze at night. Air conditioners get turned off (again, not here. You’d melt) and windows get opened. Humidity drops and mums and pansies crop up on porch planters, along with corn stalks and gourds. Leaves start turning into the scarlets, golds, and oranges that turn hillsides into gorgeous paintings of bright color.
The other thing I love about autumn is firepits. In October’s past, some of my best nights have been sitting around a fire with friends, light jackets and the heat of the fire offering protection from the brisk night air. Ghost stories around a firepit on Halloween night are just something that has to be experienced..especially if your firepit is bordered by a deep, dark, spooky forest. In October, ghosts hang from trees, jack-o-lanterns glare at you from front porches and stoops, and on one fun night, little goblins and ghuolies rush from house to house, looking for sweet treats.
November is a time for football and Thanksgiving! What other month do you get a pass to eat as much as you want, turn on the TV to watch a football game, and then fall asleep? Well, without recrimination, anyway. Leaves are burning in piles outside, putting the smell of burning wood in the air. The nights get even cooler, and most likely you will have to scrape frost off your car windows in the morning. Thanksgiving comes and you eat like a glutton. Then Black Friday comes and you waddle to the stores at 4 A.M., still full from your midnight snack, and shop like a glutton.
I tell ya, fall is just about the best season. Outdoor activities aren’t impeded by bugs and sweat, and inside activities consist of crafting and baking. What more could a person ask for? Not much more, I can tell you that! What are you doing to make this a great fall season?